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December 20, 2011

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Hailed as a hero, man's story fails to hold up

SHANGHAI police yesterday dismissed the case of a man who was hailed as a hero, saying he falsely claimed that he was beaten by thieves on a bus after he alerted potential victims.

The man, a local security guard identified as Zhang Rongsheng, in reality was injured after a dispute with another man on the bus on December 8, police said.

As Zhang was treated in a hospital, police said they were still looking for the man who hit him. Zhang, once widely praised for his "heroic deed," now is being mocked online.

The false narrative started when a post on the microblog said that Zhang was attacked by three thieves after he tried to alert passengers on a Putuo District bus.

But Zhang declined most interview requests, saying it was a little thing and "he just did what should be done." He said he came to the hospital alone after the thieves fled.

However, according to the police investigation, Zhang first had a quarrel with a man on the bus over a transport card issue. As Zhang got off at a stop, he was followed and assaulted by the man.

Zhang was injured in the face and head.

"No wonder the whole thing was strange," said a local, surnamed Xu, "There's no witness standing out afterward nor camera records."

Others microblog posts criticized the man and also blasted a local evening newspaper for publishing the story "without any verification."


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